The theatre of the kitchen and a sprinkling of inspiration from TV chefs, plus a passion for great pizza has proved to be the perfect recipe for success for foodie entrepreneur Callum Bourne.
Now the proud owner of his own business-Pizza Pronto- Callum’s business dreams began when he was 18. He said: “I was going to start a business that sold wood fired pizza from a cart. Like many young men of any age, I was inspired by watching Jamie Oliver on TV. However, I was fully committed to being a drum and bass MC at the time so never started the business!”
Callum worked as a chef until he went to university, but his idea for starting a pizza business never really went away. “When I was a student in London I would eat Neopolitan pizza at this small Italian restaurant in Brixton. I had never seen pizza look that way. It had a leopard spotted crust and was super fluffy inside.
“The theatre of the kitchen was alway on display. Watching the chefs slap the dough into shape and seeing the big oven roar with fire, I was hooked. At around the same time I became involved with a company called PRESS that was putting its mark on the cold pressed juice market. The owner, Ed Foy, took me under his wing and taught me a lot about business and that’s when I caught the entrepreneurial bug.”
After three years of working at PRESS, Callum realised that he wanted to set up his own pizzeria and broke the news to his wife that he was giving up his well paid steady job… just as she announced that she was pregnant!
Callum added: “I told her I was quitting my job to go and make pizza and then must have given out about 50 CVs to restaurants I knew made great Neoplitan pizza. I would turn up to interviews, the owners would look me top and down ask if I was Italian, then ask me to leave or invite me to take part in a trial shift work me hard for 12 hours and then never call back.”
Callum eventually got his break working as a pot wash for a street food company and had the chance to learn how to make pizza-eventually becoming a chef.
“A few months down the line and my wife was about to have our baby and I am finally making pizza but I am surviving on minimum wage and broke. A few weeks before my son was born I had a stroke of luck and was offered the role of street food manager. I learned all the aspects of running a street food business and the owner of the business then opened a restaurant and I learned some management skills as well. In January I opened Pizza Pronto.”
Callum can be found making pizzas at The Horse and Jockey in Bodicote. He added: “We are currently open on Wednesday and Thursday 5.30pm-8.30pm, Friday and Saturday from 5.30pm to 10pm and on Sunday from 5.30pm to 8pm. The plan for the future is to operate out of a van, open a shop and takeaway service and expand from there.”
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